On this tour, you’ll be accompanied from start to finish by one of our exceptional Journey Latin America tour leaders
. From the moment you land in Latin America until the day the tour ends they will deal with all the practicalities, expertly adapting to the circumstances and individual needs of the group. Rather than different guides in different cities, your leader will get to know the group and keep you informed and entertained as you go.
3 flights (longest 2 hrs), 2 train journeys (3.5hrs), 4 scenic road journeys (longest 8 hrs with stops).
This tour uses a range of hotels from mid-range through to first class. More simple lodgings in the Uyuni salt flats are used.
Hotels we use on the Andean Flamingo Journey include:
• Lima: Casa Andina Select
• Cusco: Antigua Casona San Blas
• Sacred Valley: Pakaritampu
• Machu Picchu: Casa Andina Standard
• Puno: Posada del Inca
• Copacabana: Rosario del Lago
• La Paz: Hotel Europa
• Uyuni area: Hotel Tayka del Sal
• Uyuni area: Hotel Tayka del Desierto
• San Pedro de Atacama: Cumbres San Pedro
• Santiago: Cumbres Santiago
On very rare occasions these hotels can change, however please speak to one of our consultants who can provide full details for each departure if you have any doubts. Address and contact details will be sent out with your final documents.
Breakfast daily, lunch day 14, full-board days 12 and 13.
• Cusco: city tour with Sacsayhuamán
• Sacred Valley: tour of the valley
• Machu Picchu: guided tour of the ruins
• Lake Titicaca: Sun Island and Moon Island
• La Paz: walking tour
• Uyuni salt flats: 2 night exploration
• San Pedro de Atacama: Valley of the moon
Summary of nights
17 days, 16 nights: Lima 1; Cusco 1; Sacred Valley 1; Machu Picchu 1; Cusco 2; Puno 1; Copacabana 1; La Paz 3; Uyuni area 2; San Pedro 2; Santiago 1.
Included in the journey price
• Services of Journey Latin America tour leader
• All land and domestic air transport
• Accommodation as specified
• Meals as specified
• Excursions as specified
Not included in the journey price
• Tips and insurance
• Meals other than specified
• Optional excursions
There are a wide range of optional excursions available which are booked locally through your tour leader once you are in Latin America. Not all excursions available will suit everybody, whilst others only operate within certain seasons, with minimum numbers or may not be included due to time constraints. A budget of around $180 USD should cover participation in the following options, but prices can fluctuate depending on the size of the party and so cannot be provided accurately until travel commences.
The list below is only a guideline, so please enquire with your tour leader for any further areas of interest:
• Re-entry to Machu Picchu
• Machu Picchu: climb Huayna Picchu (this excursion must be pre-booked due to availability issues so please let the office know before travel). Please note that this is a vigorous climb, involving very steep steps and uneven terrain. It would not be recommended for anyone suffering from vertigo or a fear of heights. For more information, please contact your travel consultant
• La Paz: guided tour to the pre-Inca ruins at Tiwanaku
• La Paz: guided tour to the Moon Valley
• La Paz: Ride the Telefericos over the city
• San Pedro: tour to the El Tatio geysers
• San Pedro: star gazing in one of the clearest skies in the world
• Santiago: city tour
There is no extra cost for single travellers who are willing to share a room. You will be accommodated with a same-sex member of the group who is usually also travelling solo. For single travellers who wish to be sure of having their own room there are a limited number of single rooms available, which carry a surcharge.
The unit of currency in Peru is the sol, in Bolivia the boliviano, and in Chile the peso Chileno.
A budget of around $45 USD per day should cover the cost of meals, drinks and the odd souvenir, although prices do vary greatly from country to country.
How to take it
Cash machines are available in all major cities and towns, and so a debit or credit card with a PIN number is the most convenient way of withdrawing money while on your trip, and in most shops and restaurants you can also pay by card. However, since cards can get lost, damaged, withheld or blocked, you should not rely exclusively on a card to access funds.
We recommend that you take a reasonable quantity of US dollars cash (no more than is covered by your insurance), which you can exchange into local currency. These bills should be in good condition as soiled or torn bills may be refused. Travellers’ cheques are increasingly less favoured by visitors who find them difficult to exchange as well as offering a poor rate of exchange. If you do decide to carry some with you they should be US dollar cheques only (American Express are by far the most accepted brand).
Tips are normally welcomed and expected. Local guides often rely on their tip as a significant proportion of their income. We recommend approximately $2 USD (or local equivalent) per person per day for each of guides and drivers, depending on the size of the group.
Most service industry workers will expect a tip of some kind and so it is useful to have spare change for hotel porters, taxi drivers and the like. It is common to leave 10 - 12% in restaurants.
If you would like to show your appreciation to your Journey Latin America tour leader, who you may feel has exceeded your expectations, a discretionary gratuity would be gratefully received. As a guideline we recommend an amount of between $4 USD and $6USD per person, per day. You are obviously free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality.
Travel insurance is essential. Details of our recommended policy can be found on our Travel Insurance
The pace of this trip is fast; there are early mornings and long days spent travelling (albeit with frequent stops and fantastic scenery). The Uyuni crossing involves long days of travel across often bumpy terrain. All walks are optional and you should consult your tour leader to make sure you undertake optional excursions that are best suited for you. Please note that if you have requested a double matrimonial room at booking stage this cannot be guaranteed on some parts of the tour such as on the Uyuni Salt Flats crossing due to most of the rooms have twin beds.
The rainy seasons in the Andes runs between December and March when there are showers most afternoons. The dry season is May to September when the sun is strong during the day, but at night temperatures drop dramatically (to well below freezing), particularly in the south of Bolivia, where temperatures can fall below -10°C. April and October are less predictable, with both rainy and sunny spells.
Lima is covered in a dull grey mist for much of the year, although the sun does break through between November and March. It almost never rains in Lima, and temperatures are moderate. The rest of the coast is sunnier than Lima and for most of the year it is warm enough to wear a shirt during the day and perhaps a light jumper at night.
Many of the excursions are at high altitude. Symptoms of altitude sickness vary; most common are mild headaches, slight nausea and breathlessness. Most people are unaffected and if you drink plenty of water and allow your body to acclimatise (don't exert yourself or drink alcohol) in the first couple of days after arrival, you will minimise your chances of suffering any symptoms.
Please refer to our Briefing Dossier for further information.
Clothing and special equipment
For day-to-day wear you should go prepared to encounter all seasons. Both warm clothing and a sun hat are essential at altitude; a light fleece jacket and a Gore-Tex outer shell makes a good combination. Trousers or shorts made from light, quick-drying synthetic materials also work well. It can get very cold at altitude, particularly after sundown and so warm clothes are essential as is a good waterproof jacket. Strong, comfortable footwear is also essential and you should bring insect repellent, sun block and sunglasses. You should take swimwear for visits to thermal baths. A torch can also be useful during your time on the salt flats. Temperatures can drop well below freezing at night, so thermal underwear is advisable, as well as thick socks and gloves and a hat that will cover your ears.
If you plan to go to good restaurants or out on evening entertainment trips, you might want to bring something a bit smarter as well (although formal attire will not be required).
Owing to luggage restrictions on the train to Machu Picchu, most of your luggage must be left in Cusco. You can take up to 5kg per person on the train and an overnight holdall is recommended so that you can separate your luggage for the nights spent away from Cusco.
A separate bag is also useful if you are planning a pre tour extension from Lima, as usually your main luggage can be left in the hotel.
Please get in touch with the office before departure if you have any doubts. Good equipment is very important and hard to come by in South America.
Reduce plastic waste
Journey Latin America has partnered with Water-To-Go to offer JLA Group Tour passengers the opportunity to purchase 75cl filtered water bottles for a 50% discount. The bottle can be refilled at any water outlet and has a filter that eliminates 99.9% of bacteria and viruses, allowing the water to be safe to drink. Please call your contact at JLA to add it your booking and it will be delivered to your address. More information about this initiative can be found on our website here
Preventative vaccinations are recommended against typhoid; polio; tetanus; hepatitis A. A yellow fever certificate may be a compulsory requirement for onward travel and immigration purposes. The rules are complex and subject to change. We advise you check the most up to date information at www.iatatravelcentre.com. Please consult your GP for specific requirements.
You can also find helpful information on the Masta Travel Health website.
Holders of a full British passport do not require visas for entering Peru, Bolivia or Chile although passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the trip begins. Other nationalities should enquire or check with the relevant consulate. Even where visas are not required, there may be a reciprocity fee to pay (e.g. USA and Canada).
APIS and ESTA - important flight information:
ESTA - if flying to the US, or via the US you will need to fill in your application to ESTA online. This costs $14 per person. This must be done by you personally. Passports must also be machine-readable (MRP). Avoid locking suitcases if transiting the USA, as their customs authorities retain the right to break into them.
APIS - Many countries now oblige airlines to provide additional information about passengers prior to the flight departure. This Advance Passenger Information (APIS) must be supplied to us promptly in order to issue tickets and avoid fare increases. We will provide the airlines with the relevant details if we are booking your international flights. If the information is not provided you may be denied boarding.